College Football Games Left That Would Matter: BCS, 4-Team Playoff, 8-Team Playoff

College Football Games Left That Would Matter: BCS, 4-Team Playoff, 8-Team Playoff

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College Football Games Left That Would Matter: BCS, 4-Team Playoff, 8-Team Playoff

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College football altered its postseason process for 2014. This has affected the regular season, for the better, by expanding the number of relevant teams and, consequently, games. Here is an illustration of the games that would matter this season under the BCS vs. the four-team playoff. We threw in the eventual eight-team playoff for good measure.

We limited “relevant” games to games that were directly relevant. That means games that do not need an “if… then…” statement to matter. Oregon, for instance, would still be eligible under the BCS, but it would be contingent on other things happening. The game vs. Utah could have helped determine the national champion. But no one would know it had for a month.

For simplicity with the eight-team projection, we used two games out as a common sense cutoff for teams that are eliminated. Games that, at this stage, would be between ranked opponents are in bold.

The BCS [13 Relevant, 7 Ranked]

Power five undefeated teams had preference from the BCS. Beyond that, it was perception and poll inertia. Florida State, still undefeated, would have one place. The one-loss SEC champ would claim the other place. Any other scenario would be contingent on FSU losing or the SEC not producing a one-loss champion.

ACC
Florida State: vs. UVA, at MIA, vs. BC, vs. FLA, ACC Title

SEC
Mississippi State: at ALA, vs. VAN, at OM, SEC Title
Alabama: at LSU, vs. AUB
Auburn: vs. TAM, at GEO

NCAA Football: Oregon at Washington State

Four-Team CFB Playoff [45 Relevant, 18 ranked]

The present playoff adds two more places and replaces a committee with a formula. More places mean more possibilities and more relevant games, which has proven to be a good thing. The committee offers greater unpredictability and adaptability with no clear mandate. We suspect a 12-1 Michigan State would be at a disadvantage, but it’s too early to preclude anyone.

ACC
Florida State: vs. UVA, at. MIA, vs. BC, vs. FLA, ACC Title

B1G
Michigan State: vs. OSU, at MAR, vs. RUT, at PSU, B1G Title
Ohio State: at MIN, vs. IND, vs. MICH
Nebraska: at WISC, at MIN, at IOW

B12
Kansas State: at TCU, at WVU, vs. KAN, at BAY
TCU: at KAN, at TEX, vs. ISU
Baylor: at OU, vs. OSU, vs. TT,

Independent
Notre Dame: at ASU, vs. NW, vs. LOU, at USC

P12
Oregon: at UTAH, vs. COL, at OSU, P12 Title
Arizona State: at OSU, vs. WSU, at ARIZ

SEC
Mississippi State: at ALA, vs. VAN, at OM, SEC Title
Alabama: at LSU, vs. AUB
Auburn: vs. TAM, at GEO

rich-rodriguez-dancing

Eight-Team CFB Playoff [88 Relevant, 19 Ranked]

The eight-team playoff nearly doubles the number of relevant games to 88. It adds one between ranked teams (most are relevant under the four-team). But making that broad swath of mediocrity relevant is why the eight-team playoff is a question of when, not if.

Automatic Power Five bids would be a probable component of an eight-team playoff. That moves the competition from a conference room to the field. Every conference and division race matters. The B1G does not render itself irrelevant in week two. The ACC Coastal matters. That five-team Pac 12 South race is now of national import. College football earns the bulk of its money selling those games, which are now much more important.

That’s just the regular season. For the post-season, each conference sells its conference title game. Every conference title game, under an eight-team playoff, dramatically affects the structure of said playoff (elimination, home-field advantage). Those become a de facto extra playoff round. Then you add the four game first-round which would be among the biggest sports weekends of the year and potentially more than double the present postseason revenue.

It makes so much sense we don’t need to enter how this affects you.

ACC
Florida State: vs. UVA, at MIA, vs. BC, vs. FLA, ACC Title
Duke: at SYR, vs. VT, vs. NC, vs. WF
GT: at NCS, vs. CLEM, at GEO
Miami: at UVA, vs. Pitt
Clemson: at WF, vs. SC

B1G
Michigan State: vs. OSU, at MAR, vs. RUT, at PSU, B1G Title
Ohio State: at MIN, vs. IND, vs. MICH
Nebraska: at WISC, at MIN, at IOW
Maryland: at MICH, vs. RUT
Minnesota: vs. IOW, at WISC
Iowa: at ILL, vs. WISC
Wisconsin: at PUR

B12
Kansas State: at TCU, at WVU, vs. KAN, at BAY
TCU: at KAN, at TEX, vs. ISU
Baylor: at OU, vs. OSU, vs. TT,
WVU: at Texas, at ISU
Oklahoma: at TT, vs. KU, vs. OSU

C-USA
Marshall: at SM, vs. Rice, at UAB, vs. WKU

Independent
Notre Dame: at ASU, vs. NW, vs. LOU, at USC

P12
Oregon: at UTAH, vs. COL, at OSU, P12 Title
Arizona State: at OSU, vs. WSU, at ARIZ
USC: vs. CAL, at UCLA
UCLA: at WAS, vs. STAN
Arizona: vs. COL, vs. WAS, at UTAH
Utah: at STAN, at COL

SEC
Mississippi State: at ALA, vs. VAN, at OM, SEC Title
Alabama: at LSU, vs. AUB
Auburn: vs. TAM, at GEO
Ole Miss: at ARK
LSU: at ARK, at TAM
Missouri: at TAM, at TENN, vs. ARK
Georgia: at KEN

[USA Today Sports]

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